By PETE FONTAINE
Perhaps Bob Deming, a popular Johnston Public Schools employee who watches over Mayor Joseph Polisena Stadium, said it best about the JHS Panthers most recent super social success story.
“I don’t think any other high school in the state has events like we have here in Johnston,” said Deming as he talked about last Wednesday night’s first-ever Battle of the Classes between students and teachers. “There is always something unique going on here (at JHS).”
The night’s Battle of the Classes between students and teachers had a total of 10 exciting events beginning with the one-mile relay and concluding with the ageless Tug of War that tested the metal and athletic prowess of four student teams representing all four classes consisting of nine males and as many females who were selected at random after expressing an interest to participate in the historic event.
Each participate paid $5 with the total revenue collected going to the JHS Student Council to help fund the always-active group that is known for its many outstanding and unique events.
The entire evening had the flavor of a big-time sporting event, replete with a concession stand that offered everything from meatballs to popcorn, countless volunteers from faculty and staff and a public address announcer who gave event-by-event of student and teacher movements during all 10 fun-filled events.
He was Greg Russo, who chairs the JHS Science Department and serves as faculty advisor for the Student Council and SADD (Students against Dangerous Decisions).
Everyone inside Polisena Stadium concurred that Russo made the night special with an emotional announcement when he requested a moment of silence for the school children and adults who were sadly killed in the recent Texas shooting.
“Congratulations to Greg for doing that,” several spectators said while watching the fun-filled events. “The people here (at JHS) have always been so kind and caring. I’m sure every person here tonight relates to that senseless tragedy.”
Each of the ten events – one-mile relay, sack race, over and under, walk the plank, balloon toss, ready steady, bucket brigade and tug of war – was filled with fun, laughter, falls and surprises endings.
The night moved quickly as the classes and teachers exchanged victories in various endeavors.
Perhaps what Russo called “the clutch moment of the evening” was the fantastic catch made by Tara Teolis and quick throw to Melissa Iafrate that won the balloon toss for the teachers.
The evening concluded with the tug of war and after a series of eliminations it boiled down to the teachers versus the seniors in the final match and as Russo mused: “Yes, the teachers won.”
As Russo and Principal Dr. Donna Penacchia said: “Thanks to the teachers that gave their time to make this event a sparkling success” and almost ensured there will be a second annual event next year.
For more photos please see next week’s Sun Rise.
Those teachers were: Mike Harwood Matt Nierney, Mike Iafrate, Brianna Cardillo, Ashley DeLeo, Lauren Fagundes, Lisa Fresolone, Justin Pimental, Christian Young, Joe Acciardo, Ed Saravo, Melissa Iafrate, Vanessa Faiola, Emilia Ruggiero, Isabelle Russo, Officer Lou Cotoia, Tammy Iasimone and Brien Bordieri.
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